Westminister set to block institute’s new brand

Westminster politicians could deal a major blow to the ICAEW’s name-change
plans, at a time when the institute’s rumoured talks with a smaller professional
body over a new alliance appear set to run into trouble.

The Privy Council, formed primarily from senior ministers and peers, is
expected to block a new brand because approval is understood to risk a clash
with Jack McConnell, the first minister of Scotland, who has vigorously opposed
the institute plans.

The institute wants to change its name to the ICA, Institute of Chartered
Accountants, but ICAS and McConnell last year declared they would fight any

A new name requires approval from the Privy Council, but ICAS warned that as
the council acted on behalf of the Queen, it would be ‘reluctant’ to mediate on
a ‘controversial issue’.

The council said this week it had not so far received an application from the
The institute admitted that plans for its name were on hold while MORI polls
members on its recent failed merger with CIPFA, and gather opinion on a new

‘Once the results have been received, we’ll be looking at all the issues
going forward,’ said an ICAEW spokeswoman.

Despite the failure of the ICAEW’s merger with CIPFA last year, rumours have
grown that an alliance with non-chartered body the Institute of Financial
Accountants, could be on the cards.

The IFA has confirmed that a second meeting in recent weeks with the ICAEW is
planned. But the ICAEW could face some embarrassment as the smaller institute,
which represents 9,000 members across 90 countries, faces a bitter crisis at
board level that has led to claim and counterclaim regarding the behaviour of
its own council members.

Malcolm Dean, IFA chief executive, strongly denied allegations from some
senior sources within the institute that its chairman, Michael O’Brien, faced
suspension over disciplinary matters.

But Dean revealed that Paul George, another council member, had been
suspended from council and membership of the institute pending a disciplinary
hearing tomorrow.

He also poured scorn on attempts by Kevin Henry, a member of the IFA and
chief executive of accounting body Corporation of Public Accountants, to
requisition an EGM to elect a new council and try to reshape the IFA’s strategy.

‘Kevin Henry’s information is inaccurate, totally untrue,’ said Dean.

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